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Best place to start for computer controlled lights?


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So I understand I'm too late for this 2006 season. But I fully expect and intend to have a computer controlled multi channel display for next year! :D



My question for those who have more experience -- whats the best way to go?

I've read some of the DIY stuff, which I have no problem with - as I am capable of soldering, building circuits and following directions (even if I don't completely understand what it is I'm reading/looking at).

And I've seen some of the LOR stuff... Like most people - I want to spend as little as possible for the most product. but I'm lost as to where I should begin.

Can someone here who is in the know please offer me some advice, direction, suggestions, etc... I'll read it all, as I'm sure others will to. Those of us who want to get involved are easily discouraged from all the choices, impression of complexity, etc... DIY, LOR...............etc............etc.......... so some solid advice would be EXTREMELY appreciated.



Thanks in Advance,

-Tom

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Well this is one of those subjects that is hard to answer. Everyone has their opinion which is better, and really better is not a good term to use since in essence all vendors' equipment turn lights on and off. I haven't used any Animated Lighting equipment or software so I really can't say anything about them, they are the most expensive right now but their's is more of Plug and Play. LOR and D-Lights are pretty similar and right now they are both compatible, that probably will change in the future. Either one is a great choice, I like both products and service is great for both. Price is a little cheaper for D-lights.

Download the sequencer demo from LOR and have a look at it. D-Light should have a demo version out shortly, download that too. Play with them and see which one you prefer. That is where you will spend most of your time and you need to feel comfortable with it.

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Toaster,

It is really up to you. Since I am a DIY guy I woould recommend DIY. The questions you need to answer are

1. How much money do I want to spend?

2. How fast do I want to be up and running?

The rest is pretty much the same on all corners. Animated Lighting, Light-O-Rama and D-Light as well as Vixen(DIY) all pretty much have the same effects. Each has its pros and cons but I do not think there is anyone here who has used all 4 extensively enough to say any one is better than the other.

If you want a quick solution, like pay today and the electronics arrive tomorrow then you would need to go with AL, LOR or even D-Light but you will pay a premium. Now the DIY route will save you money but will take some time and knowledge, which is easily gained.

Good Luck,

Brian

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The simple answer "umm yes". Like everyone has said there isn't any hard comparason that anyone has done. Unfortinatly I doubt there ever will be done beings they all are sponsors and members of PC.

Bottom line is go to there websites. Call and talk to the people at each company and make a decision who you feel comfortable with. Although, I will say I recomend not buying right now. You will pay top dollar for what you want. Figure out what you want and wait untill theres a sale possibly later next year. All 3 of the big companies appear to have sales every year.

As a new LOR user I would recomend to start out small. I made a huge jump straight to 96 channels and it is a lot of work. Just remember the more channels you have the longer its going to take to sequince everything and the longer it will take to set everything up. Plus also remember the more channels you have the more extension cords you will need. Every channel usually will take 1 extension cord. You can get away from a few next some stuff like mega trees, but most everything else will take an extension cord. So figure that into the cost of stuff when your deciding on how much you want.

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  • 1 month later...

dgiordano wrote:

LOR and D-Lights are pretty similar and right now they are both compatible, that probably will change in the future.
From a newbie trying to learn:

Please explaine "compatible". Will LOR boards run on D-Lights software? Are the boards interchangeable for future growth?
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LOR and D-light currently run on the same protocol. So, LOR software can control D-light boards, and D-light software can control LOR boards. When LOR comes out with it's new update (LOR2 anticipated in summer), all upgraded LOR boards will no longer be compatible with D-light.

We know for sure that D-light software will continue to run LOR1 boards OK (this includes all current LOR boards NOT upgraded to LOR2.) After the LOR2 update, you will not longer be able to buy LOR1 boards from LOR. They will only be selling LOR2.

The bottom line is, the two companies are diverging. As a newbie, do NOT plan on either company being compatible with the other. In future, they will not be compatible.


If you're confused, LOR1 is the current protocol. All LOR boards are currently LOR1. All D-light boards also run LOR1 protocol. LOR has planned better/new hardware and software, called LOR2. This will be released (anticipated) this summer, and LOR will no longer be compatible with D-light after this change. If LOR users want the new software and/or hardware, they must upgrade ALL their LOR boards. My understanding is LOR is switching protocols, and so they will no longer support LOR1. However, they will offer FREE upgrades for all LOR1 light-o-rama boards to LOR2. (firmware update)


*edit* spelling

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thanks mike. that last part about do NOT plan is what it's all about. thats the kind of info i need. based on what you said it sounds like d-light will be selling a lot more stuff in the future(to people who are in deep and do not want to upgrade). that, and old stuff will find it's way to ebay.

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You asked for some solid advice. Well, I can't tell you about AL or D-Lite, both of which are superb products, because I'm a LOR user. In my opinion (and remember, its just an opinion) start out small. I would recommend the LOR Showtime package as a great start if you don't want to spend the time doing it yourself. Buying 16 or 32 channels is more than adequate as a starting point. Learning to create a sequence does take a considerable amount of time. I would also suggest that if you are considering going with LOR, to go the LOR website and download the trial software. This will give you an excellent opportunity to experiment with the software and see if you are comfortable with it.

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